UN council backs Gaza war crimes Goldstone report
The United Nations Council for Human Rights approved a controversial report Friday which accuses Israel and Hamas of “actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity” during the December-January war in Gaza.
The report, based on a fact-finding mission led by former South African jurist Richard Goldstone, calls for both parties to independently investigate the alleged human rights violations cited in the report.
The council plans to forward the endorsed report to the U.N. General Assembly for its consideration. The report asks the U.N. Security Council to monitor the probes. If that group decides the investigations have not been done satisfactorily within six months, the report recommends that they refer the issue to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The Goldstone report goes beyond the Gaza conflict. It “strongly condemns” measures taken by Israel limiting Palestinian access to their properties and holy sites “on the basis of national origin, religion, sex, age or any other discriminatory ground.”
It further condemns “Israeli violations of human rights in Occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the confiscation of lands and properties, the demolishing of houses and private properties, the construction and expansion of settlements, the continuous construction of the separation wall, changing the demographic and geographic character of East Jerusalem, the restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Palestinian citizens of East Jerusalem, as well as the continuous digging and excavation works in and around Al-Aqsa mosque and its vicinity.”